In the test: Google biscuits compression with ImageOptim image optimizer compared to other JPEG encoders

Google Guetzli JPEG Encoder 35% smaller files with good quality, reduce JPEG size make them smaller, maintain quality, fewer artifacts

The free Mac app “ImageOptim” is a little insider tip for people who frequently have to convert image files to the smallest possible file size. The image optimizer includes various compression methods and ultimately selects the one that offers the best compression for the image presented.

In addition to several other compression formats, the image optimizer ImageOptim also offers the biscuit encoder, which we would like to put through its paces here.
In addition to several other compression formats, the image optimizer ImageOptim also offers the biscuit encoder, which we would like to put through its paces here.

Google Guetzli currently offers the best JPEG compression

According to Google, the Guetzli JPEG encoder offers 35% smaller files with good quality.
According to Google, the Guetzli JPEG encoder offers 35% smaller files with good quality.

In March we already had reported on the biscuit encoder from Google. With a compression rate of around 35%, it makes JPEG files around a third smaller than the original. The compression should only cause an imperceptible loss of the image information, so that there is hardly any loss of quality in the image.

By the way: You don't need a special addon or extension for it Browser such as FireFox, Chrome, Safari or other programs can display the graphics optimized with Guetzli. The "magic" of cookies happens in the encoding. Decoding is as fast as with other JPEGs and can be done by any standard browser.

Cookies in the practical test: calculation time and results

You could already read in the press releases about biscuits that compressing a single image file can take up to 30 minutes. Now that ImageOptim has installed the biscuit encoder, it was time for me to do a little test run to create facts. :)

The starting material was a photo that I took with my DJI Spark shot. It comes directly from the SD card and is therefore hardly optimized. Since this picture is several megabytes in size and is not very realistic for web designers, I then compress a smaller version of the photo that I have already converted with the other JPEG encoders from ImageOptim.

The test

In the test, I let the Guetzli encoder compete against the other two JPG compression methods “JPEGOptim” and “Jpegtran”. In the last run, I then use the Photoshop plugin I prefer TinyJPEG (also available as a standalone app for the Mac) to test the compression. If I am correctly informed, however, TinyJPEG accepts minimal losses, so that it actually runs out of competition. However, since I do not recognize the differences to the original, it is a plausible alternative for me in everyday use.

My test photo: counted small with the Google biscuit encoder. Loss of quality is not recognizable for me.
My test photo: counted small with the Google biscuit encoder. Loss of quality is not recognizable for me.

The original photo:

  • 8,3 MB file size
  • 3968 x 2976 pixels (RGB color space)

Reduced version (saved in Photoshop with maximum quality level):

  • 1,4 MB file size
  • 1200 x 900 pixels (RGB color space)

Test computer:

  • MacBook Pro 15 inch 2017 (2,9 GHz Intel Core i7) - not exactly the slowest computer in the world

The results

Here I have summarized the results of my test in two tables.

The first test with the large photo: 3968 x 2976 pixels; 8,3 MB.

Encoderfilesizeprocessing timesaving
Original8,3 MB--
JPEG Optim7,2 MB1 sec12,3%
jpegtran6,6 MB5 sec20,1%
Biscuits5,0 MB17:28 min: sec38,5%
TinyJPEG2,0 MB27 sec75,9%

The second test with the small photo: 1200 x 900 pixels; 1,4 MB.

Encoderfilesizeprocessing timesaving
Original1,4 MB--
JPEG Optim1,4 MB<1 sec1,2%
jpegtran1,3 MB1 sec5,5%
Biscuits0,5 MB1:51 min: sec59,4%
TinyJPEG0,36 MB2 sec74,29%

My conclusion

Compared to the other JPEG encoders, Guetzli can deliver a remarkable result. I was particularly astonished by the high compression rate that Guetzli was able to show for the reduced JPEG. While the two encoders JPEGOptim and Jpegtran only deliver low single-digit values, Guetzi manages to reduce the file size by almost 60%.

At Guetzli, the whole thing goes hand in hand with an extremely long processing time. In my opinion, this makes the compressor unsuitable for practical use. Even 10 seconds of waiting would be painful for exporting a small photo, but almost 2 minutes on a current MacBook Pro is simply beyond good and bad.

An underrated image enhancer that you can use online, as a standalone Mac app, or with a WordPress plugin or a Photoshop plugin.
An underrated image enhancer that you can use online, as a standalone Mac app, or with a WordPress plugin or a Photoshop plugin.

But my test also showed me a very interesting fact: namely the fact that the tool “TinyJPEG“, with which I optimize all photos for the blog “Sir Apfelot” and my customer pages, even putting biscuits in my pocket. And not only from the file reduction but also from the processing time.

So my recommendation is definitely clear: Cookies are a nice gimmick, but TinyJPEG is definitely the tool that you want to use in practice. :)

 

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